13 Gives Back

’13 Gives Back’ recognizes Ripley parade organizers

13 Gives Back

RIPLEY, WV (WOWK) – Each month, we highlight community members with our 13 Gives Back award, and as we celebrate one year of this initiative, this month, for the first time, we surprised our recipients: Ed Smolder and Matt Anderson!


“We are here in the City of Ripley just outside the municipal building where inside a group of people are having a meeting as they prepare for the grand Fourth of July celebration,” said 13 News Anchor Hannah Goetz. “What two people inside don’t know is they are about to get surprised with our 13 Gives Back award, and they have no idea!”

Staff shuffled into the conference room for a planning meeting and our 13 News crew followed as the Mayor of Ripley set up the surprise.

“From the time it starts to the time it ends you don’t see them enjoying any festivities because they are either putting up signs or running around town to make our city look wonderful so at this time I want to recognize you and thank you for thinking of this…Matt Anderson and Ed Smolder,” Ripley Mayor Carolyn Rader said as she calls up the men.

The surprised men humbly got up to accept the award as 13 New’s Hannah Goetz thanked them for working so hard to make ‘America’s Largest Small Town Independence Day Celebration‘ happen.

“We enjoy it. Volunteers is what make this country click and that is the reason I am here….no better place to be than Ripley, West Virginia,” says ’13 Gives Back’ recipient and Ripley volunteer.

The Ripley 4th of July Celebration dates back to the late 1800’s…the parade alone brings in hundreds if not thousands from near and far…it’s a time for community to come together and after this last year…it is more important than ever. that is why we are so happy to partner with West Virginia American water to make 13 Gives Back happen.

“West Virginia American Water we are invested in the communities that we serve across the state and so it is such a wonderful honor to be part of this and to give back to those who give so much to the communities and counties that surround us,” says Bradley Harris from West Virginia American Water.

Don’t forget you can nominate someone for ‘13 Gives Back‘!

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